Gallery art walls in Soho House (globally)

Not knowing quite where to begin I am just going to jump right into it.  I LOVE gallery wall art!  There I said it.  I cannot get enough of it. Whenever I see it I am instantly drawn to it.  There is something about the casual randomness of it that makes my regularly, somewhat, symmetrical mind tilt a bit to the left.

As easy as it looks to create, there is definitely finesse and symmetry that is involved so before you attempt it, do a bit of home work.  Whether you live in a big city or not, there can be a good amount of information out there to set your creative mind at ease and allow you to finally get that artwork off the floor and on the walls where it belongs!  If you do live in a bigger city I beg you to check out one of the globally branded Soho house locations.  I personally think that there is some of the most eclectic, artistic, examples of how to do “gallery art” well.  Soho house, which started in London back in the 90’s, has locations all over the world.  There are chic retreats in Chicago, my town, NYC, West Hollywood, Berlin, Istanbul, Miami, Toronto and growing.  The houses are a private membership brand that is kind of like an updated, urban country club.  You have to be invited to join and they generally are looking for the creative types out there as opposed to the business or banker types.  All that aside the inside of these joints is right up my alley, with an eclectic mix of woods, metallics, random quirk AND gallery wall hangings!  I personally have been to four of them and am looking forward to seeing a few more but let me  share my experience with the Chicago House.  The first floor is open to the public and has the most unique open, air feel to it with a few cool restaurants on the first floor, the Allis, Chicken Farm Shop and a few others.  The fifth floor, with entrances behind the book shelves, is where I find some of the best gallery art I have seen in a while.  The fifth floor,open to members and hotel guests, displays some of the most wonderful collections of modern, classic and contemporary art.  Sitting on the sofas, looking East, is such a unique collection of art that I find myself immersed in thought every time I see them.  I am drawn to them so much because I just adore the layout and the selection that was chosen to be displayed.  It is collected together so well that it draws you in.  Waling around that floor you will find other brilliantly displayed groups of art mashed together so damn well that you cant help but love them.  Would they be as good on their own, perhaps, perhaps not?  I am currently finishing up on a re-design of an apartment downtown and my when we were to the part of hanging all of their lovely art, the client kept telling me…higher HIGHER!  I just laughed it off because I thought most people hang their things to high historically.  There is something about it that they cannot get away from.  This is one of the reasons that I adore gallery style wall hanging.  You can be a bit askew, a bit off the center mark, as long as you finish it off on both ends.  I recently read an article on that I thought would be helpful for people who are SCARED to hang their artwork…and I can tell you that there are MANY.  The article states that you should always hang your artwork at the 57″ point on the wall.  That is where the center is.  The article continues on to give a unique calculation to use when hanging your art.  The calculation is as follows…

Step By Step:
1. Measure and lightly mark 57″ on the wall
2. Measure artwork and divide by 2 (this gives you the center)
3. Measure top of your picture to the tightened wire (a small amount)
4. Subtract “tight wire” amount from 1/2 height amount for the “to the hook” amount. This will tell you how far above 57″ your hook should go
5. Lightly mark wall just above 57″ with the “to the hook” amount

As the article states, as well as the video that joined it, most people find this too low but it actually is not.  The article states, which I love, that a person whether standing or sitting has to have a very comfortable relationship with the artwork hanging on the walls.  I found that this was a unique tool to use for the a person who perhaps has never had the confidence to hang their artwork, or for a person who is need of a little calculation to assure that they are doing it right.  I personally have been hanging my art pieces this way for so long that I rely, now, only on site and it usually draws alot of attention when guests come over.  The hardest thing, for me as a designer, is to convince my clients’ to do this with some of their pieces.  I find that most people can understand it when they see it in a museum or a gallery but to actually do it within their four walls of their home, is baffling to them.  The biggest hurdle for most people is the commitment to the placement of the artwork.  It is the same when choosing colors to paint, but that is a whole different article, for a later time.  Below are some pictures I grabbed from the internet of the some of the Soho House gallery collections from around the world; p.s you can take photographs inside these houses on your own…it is forbidden.

Please enjoy them and get that art OFF the floor.  Your wall is dying to showcase for the world to see or at least to the guests that you have over to your dwelling.  Be unique, be adventurous, but always be onewhodefines!